Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Teaser Tuesdays---to spark your interest in books!

Salt- (A World History) by Mark Kurlansky (Non-fiction)
"By the seventh century, the Basques built stone towers on high points of land along their coast. When the lookout tower spied a whale, it's great shiny back breaking the surface while spouting vapor, (the lookout) would shout a series of coded cries that told whalers where and how big the whale was...(pg 112)." 

Tons and tons of salt have been used over the ages to preserve seafood (think salt cod) and in the preservation of all kinds of meat.

                  Today's feature is a non-fiction book encompassing  the history surrounding salt! 

Basque stronghold; Arteaga Tower.

Basque coastal region.
Basque Countryside between Spain and France.
Map showing where the Basques originate.                            

Basques- an ethnic group of people that inhabit an area in north-central Spain and south-western France, thought to be the renmants of the early settlers of Western Europe. Basque tribes were mentioned by the Romans and today have limited self-government of a specific area. Historically sheepherders, ranchers and fisherman.

Bonneville Salt Flats near Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
If the subject interests you, or if you are interested in Sicily, or reading a fictional work that will show you about the life of a salt miner, here is an e-book suggestion. This was one of my first e-book purchases when I received my Kindle. The setting is in Sicily and the story follows two brothers that make their living salt mining. The author does an excellent job of getting the reader into the Sicilian mind-set. Not a fairy tale book but one that has stuck with me over the years.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Teaser Tuesdays...To spark your bookish interest!- 2016.4

Holy Blood, Holy Grail- by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln (History) "Shocking international bestseller!" 

"In 1653 an important Merovingian tomb was found in the Ardennes- the tomb of King Childeric I.
The tomb contained arms, treasure, and regalia such as one would expect to find in a royal tomb. It also contained items less characteristic of kingship than of magic, sorcery, and divination- a severed horse's head, for instance, a bull's head made of gold, and a crystal ball (pg 237)."

Merovingian- a dynasty that ruled ancient Gaul (France) in the 5th Century
Ardennes- a hilly region containing dense forests that extends to Germany but is mainly in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

This book received a lot of negative attention when it first came out in 1982. It put forth the theory (that some perceived as blasphemous) that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and they had children whose descendants eventually became the Merovingian rulers of France. It talks about secret societies, Knights Templar, and the Holy Grail. The subject was dramatized in two later novels (The Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird, 1993, and The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, 2003.) This theme has been investigated on the BBC, The Discovery Channel, 60 Minutes, etc. Some say it is only pseudo-history but it makes for interesting reading. History buffs, open minded persons interested in religious themes, lovers of conspiracy theories, and those with a fondness for mystery should enjoy it.